Week 3 of each college football season usually serves as the last weekend for the majority of those "cash payout games", where Group of Five teams are either the fiscal beneficiary (playing Power Fives), or they are actually the ones paying out to FCS programs.
So the matchups aren't always the strongest. Yet sometimes there are some cross-continental monster matchups.
Let's take a good look at the G5's top games this weekend, with staff picks:
THE TOP FIVE GAMES
NOTE: All game times are Eastern.
1. James Madison at Troy, 7:00 PM — Not only is this a matchup between two of the top programs among the 64 at this level, but this is also a massive Sun Belt Conference matchup that will have ramifications from here until Thankgiving. The Dukes make the trip from Virginia to southern Alabama, almost to the Florida border. The computer rankings have these two schools relatively close in most models. This is a biggie, folks.
2. Fresno State at Arizona State, 10:30 PM — Arizona State is a Power Five conference school (though some are saying its Power Four with what's going on with the Pac 12 right now). Fresno State has already knocked off a P5 and seems to have a decent chance of doing it again with this matchup. This will be an absolute gem for those who are hellbent on watching a late game.
3. San Jose State at Toledo, 7:00 PM — You have to love those cross-sectional matchups within the Group of Five ranks. Toledo is arguably the top team in the MAC and San Jose State is one of the strongest teams in the Mountain West.
4. East Carolina at Appalachian, 3:30 PM — Both schools are in North Carolina, and not only are they facing off on the gridiron on Saturday afternoon, they battle each other for the same recruits.
5. Louisiana at UAB, 7:00 PM — Another interesting non-conference battle between two comparably ranked G5 teams. Louisiana is in the Sun Belt Conference, and UAB is in the American — and those are clearly the top two conferences in the G5 right now.
THE NEXT FIVE
|Vanderbilt at UNLV||7:00 PM||CBSSN|
|South Alabama at Oklahoma St||7:00 PM||ESPN+|
|Navy at Memphis||7:30 PM||ESPN|
|Utah State at Air Force||8:00 PM||CBSSN|
|New Mexico State at New Mexico||Time TBA||TV TBA|
NOTE: All games Saturday unless noted.
THE FANBUZZ STAFF PICKS
LAST WEEK'S WINNER: Taylor Tilley dominated the week at 9-1 and is now two wins ahead of the rest of the field with an overall record of 22-5. It just goes to prove — the ladies are smarter.
THE COMPETITORS: BMAC - G5 Editor Brian McLaughlin (all conferences); Jamie Malloy (MAC); Julie Miller (AAC & C-USA); Jay Moffitt (AAC & C-USA); NACH - Anthony Nachreiner (Mtn. West); Jordan Ramos (MAC); Taylor Tilley (Sun Belt)
(*) - Denotes conference matchup
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